27 June 2015
MotoGP Assen: Rossi, Marquez: We'll still be friends
Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Honda's Marc Marquez say their controversial last-lap clash at Assen in the Dutch TT won't affect their relationship off the track.
Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez were put on the spot when they were asked if their clash at the final chicane in the Dutch MotoGP would have an impact on their relationship.
Rossi won the race to extend his lead in the MotoGP World Championship to 10 points over his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo when he took the gravel after contact was made with Marquez's Repsol Honda on the last lap of the race.
The 36-year-old rejoined the track to win by 1.2 seconds from Marquez, who had tried to make a last-ditch pass on Rossi's inside.
Marquez, who has long cited Rossi as the rider he looks up to most in MotoGP, appeared to be smarting over the clash at the post-race press conference but asked if the incident would change his relationship with Rossi, he replied: “I hope no, but okay outside the track. But inside the track he is fighting for the championship and just what I want to do is win the races.”
Answering the same question and reminded of the incident in Argentina when Marquez crashed out after touching Rossi's machine as they disputed the lead, Rossi responded simply: “No, I think no.”
Marquez was then asked his view on whether or not Race Direction may have adopted a different stance had the rider involved not been Valentino Rossi.
“I don't know. We will see in the future. When somebody will do [something similar] then we can say ah, Valentino, nothing happened,” he said.
Rossi, quick as a flash, retorted: “But we can see also in the past Laguna Seca!” [When Marquez repeated Rossi's famous on Casey Stoner from 2008 at the Corkscrew in 2013].
Asked who would have won without the contact, Rossi commented: “I was in front”, while Marquez responded “I was on the inside!”
As the questioning continued, Marquez said he was unaware if his team had considered submitting a protest over the incident.
“I don't know – it's what I say, the most important for us is what we feel and we feel great,” he said.
Jorge Lorenzo, who finished on the podium in third place after starting from row three, refused to be drawn into the debate, turning the tables on a reporter who asked for his opinion on the drama.
“What is yours?” Lorenzo said, before adding: “You tell me yours and I will tell you mine.”
When the reporter finally said he felt Rossi should be absolved of any blame, Lorenzo replied: “I don't have an opinion.”
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